Tag Archives: chores

Marriage Project Assessment #4 – Bake, Cook, Ego-Boost and Clean your way to a Happier Marriage

21 Oct

At least, that’s what I’ve been doing to work towards a better marriage. Not that there’s much wrong with it to begin with, but it seems to me that it’s easier to tend to your marriage when it’s not in trouble.

Well, all this cooking, cleaning, and loving up my husband seems to be making a HUGE difference (either that, or he’s found and reading my blog!) I started this blog to work on things I can control in my marriage (as opposed to using this as a place to vent about marriage and my husband). I can’t control my husband. I can only control me.

As I’ve mentioned several times before, the intent here is to better MYSELF in my marriage, but then unintended consequence here is that my husband has been just amazing. He’s been communicating a lot more than he EVER has. I mean, he talks a lot (we love to talk about anything and everything), but as far as communicating about feelings, emotions, or dealing with issues, that’s always been a little struggle for us.

So yesterday, when he IMed me about some errands we needed to get done, I was feeling particularly lovey, and I told him out of the blue, “You know, you’re a GREAT husband and father.” And he wrote back, “You know what, THANK YOU, that means so much to me.” Who knew?? I thought I’d get a standard “Thanks.”

Last night, I got home before he did and got to work reviewing my cleaning planner. I did some dishes, got dinner started, got coffee ready for the morning, and finished folding the laundry. I had quite a bit done before he even got home. We watched the rest of the Yankees game together (Yeah!!! They Won !!!!!!.) Then we went to bed super-early to watch the Giants against the Phillies. At 9pm. We just kind of cuddled, and it was incredible. Then out of nowhere, he tells me how happy he is in general, how glad he is that I’m his wife, and how glad he is that I’m the mother of his child. He also went on to tell me that he’s made an effort to try very hard lately – my hangups are staying clean and orderly and keeping my head on straight, his is that he tends to get a little angry and let things bother him. He told me that he’s trying hard to not place blame every time something small goes wrong, and he apologized for sometimes placing that extra blame on me when it’s not warranted.

Wow!

Am I making a difference here?

Furthermore, our marriage IS good already. Do you think for people who are having marriage troubles could follow the same steps that I do and receive the same outcome, even if they think their spouse is at fault? If they work on the ‘small things’ like I am, could their spouses outlook improve as well as an unintended consequence?

 


Some useful links:

 

Archive of my marriage projects

My marriage project assessments so far

What is this marriage project all about?

And of course, follow me on Facebook by clicking the picture below!

#26: Will work for guacamole

20 Oct

Those of you who are new or don’t happen to visit very often must be thinking, “This is boring. Fold the laundry, send him a card, draw him a picture, let him pick the Netflix this time…Where’s the excitement? Where’s the one key to making marriage awesome?”

Well, for starters, last night I started folding a huge pile of laundry, which I absolutely hate doing, and do you know what? My dear husband made me a huge bowl of guacamole (my fav!) not as a reward for doing laundry, but because he knows how much I hate doing it, saw me doing it, and wanted to do a little something nice for me! Now tell me that didn’t help our marriage on a small scale?!?

I didn’t, however, finish folding, because we got a bit busy watching the Yankees game last night. I have to finish that darn laundry tonight! I don’t want to hear, “You didn’t finish it? But I made you guacamole!!” (That would be him jesting, of course.)


Some helpful links if you’re new here:

 

What is this Marriage Project all about?

Archive of my more recent posts

My self assessments on how this blog is working out so far (Assessment #3 spells out why I chose to make this a little details blog as opposed to a big picture marriage blog.)

And of course, don’t forget to join me on Facebook by clicking the picture below!


Situation #6: Weekend update.

11 Oct

DC Bomb Scare. 5mph on the highway. A cranky husband. Those are just a few of the things that have occurred over the past three days.

As most of you know, my husband went away to a conference last week, and I wasn’t sure how I’d handle it. As I mentioned in my last post, I thought I did pretty darn good!

I couldn’t WAIT to see him. He’s been a ball of mush lately, and I’ve been riding the wave of the whole ‘in-love’ part of marriage for the last few weeks.

Trying to leave work:

Friday afternoon, we texted all afternoon, and I was so excited for him to board his flight to head home. About an hour before leaving work, one of my colleagues noticed lots of police outside our office and that the road was closed. I’m not an alarmist, but here’s something I haven’t mentioned yet;

  • Fact #1 I live in Washington, DC. And if you guess that police action in DC is common, you’d be guessing right.
  • Fact #2 I work in an office that is VERY close to The White House (and yes, I know the picture I posted is not of the White House).

So of course my alarm bells were ringing. Then our front desk told us that it was a bomb scare. I left work and went to get the kiddo from daycare to head home.  All in all, it took me an hour and a half to leave work, get the kiddo, and get back home. That’s less than 20 miles, by the way.

Getting to the airport:

I fed the kiddo a quick dinner, packed up the baby bag with goodies in case we had to wait too long at the airport, and we took to the road. It’s 29 miles to the airport. Husband’s flight was scheduled to arrive at 8:49pm. I left the house at 7:15pm I figured that would give me time to park, find his gate, and be waiting at the appropriate area for him.

I was wrong. There was a major accident on the highway, and I was slowed to 5mph. For OVER five miles. Now, there were several exits I could have taken to get off the highway and take backgrounds, but wouldn’t you know, he was arriving at the only DC area airport I haven’t yet been to (we have three major airports here, one I can SEE right out my window. He was not arriving at that one.) So I couldn’t get off the highway; I had no idea where to go. I eventually made it, and arrived right as he was exiting the terminal. Right on time!! It was so exciting! He was with a colleague, so I didn’t get all mushy right away. As his colleague was walking away, he said to my husband, “See you on Monday!”

See you on Monday? SEE YOU ON MONDAY??? Monday is a holiday!! I have it off. He thought he had it off.

He texted his boss to confirm that Monday was a work day. It was. I had to bite my tongue. I hadn’t seen my husband in days, and thought we were going to have a nice long weekend together. It wasn’t his fault, though. No use taking it out on him.

The weekend

My awesome wonderful husband was a crank all weekend. He complained that there was a basket of laundry that wasn’t folded, that there were dishes in the sink… the list goes on. I felt totally deflated. I thought I did a good job! Between the kiddo being sick, me trying to work, trying to get everything done…ugh. I know I’m not the most tidy person you’ve ever met. I admit I’m not. And I know it frustrates my husband, because, well, he IS rather tidy.

I don’t like being untidy; I just FORGET to do stuff.

Saturday afternoon, I went over to Barnes and Noble and bought a weekly planner. In the back, in the notes section, I wrote out a checklist of all the stuff I should be doing on a daily basis (one page for morning, one page for afternoon). And then on the actual days, I’ve started writing other chores that need to be done; for example, today I need to sew a button on a pair of pants. Had I not written it on the calendar for today, it may not have gotten done until next weekend.

The Rest

Even so, the husband has still been a bit cranky all weekend long, and a little distant too. I was frustrated. I know I’m not neat, and I know it frustrates him, but was that reason for me to totally feel deflated? It’s a pretty crappy feeling.

So this morning I sent him an email:

Hey handsome. I love you, and the kiddo and I miss you today.I’m really not sure what happened this weekend.. (besides our great lovin’), I just felt like you were distant and somewhere else. I was so looking forward to seeing you after your trip, and I feel like it just did not go  anything like I thought I would. I thought things had been going great for weeks, I felt really good like we were in a good place, but this weekend was just a down weekend I guess. I felt you come across as negative and cranky all weekend, and it got me really uptight. I’m sorry about all the stuff around the house; I’ll keep trying to work on it. I’ve got a little list going today. I love you lots, and I really look forward to spending the weekend with you next weekend.

He sent two responses, which I’ve edited and put together to save space:

I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to come across that way. I’ve been stressed out about work. It isn’t happening fast enough and that just doesn’t bode well. Everything that I’ve put together has fallen apart and everything of value is taking too long to materialize. So, it’s been weighing on me for a few weeks now.I should have told you that this was stressing me out and not made you feel like it’s you, and I’m sorry if I’ve been taking it out on you.

I learned a few lessons, here:
  • I thought this was all about ME. The world doesn’t revolve around me.
  • I’m glad I had some self-restraint. Earlier, my husband had told me he appreciated me picking him up at the airport, and that his colleague’s wife wasn’t picking him up because it was too much of a hassle. When he started getting on my case about the laundry and the dishes later, it took every ounce of me to not say to him, “Well perhaps this is why your colleague’s wife doesn’t pick him up at the airport; she’s probably too busy at home tidying up to perfection so he doesn’t complain when he gets home.” I can guarantee, though, if I had said that, there’s no way he would have opened up to me and told me he was stressed at work with his new job. He would have been justified in making it about me.
  • It’s best to stay calm and not rush to judgment.
  • My husband is TRYING. He’s REALLY trying. He’s not exactly Mr. Openupandsharefeelings, especially when I bitch back at him, so this is major. He wants to work hard for our marriage, and it’s a conscious thing. He’s not just subconsciously or peripherally thinking about our marriage and our family.

 

#21 – Put on my big girl pants and deal with things

29 Sep

Those ‘things’ I need to deal with? Me. The apartment.

Me

After the crazy night which was last night, plus my recent bout of insomnia over the past week, and an exhausting work trip earlier this week, I kind of felt like I was losing my cool and, well, I wasn’t feeling exactly composed. Today, I used a sick day from work to get some sleep and recharge. I slept until 10am and it felt fantastic.

The apartment

Our house is one big ole’ mess. It’s not particularly DIRTY, but it’s cluttered. Too cluttered. This is essentially my doing; I keep too much stuff. Today? My mission is to literally go through our stuff and throw away the CRAP and get this place organized. It’s a little daunting, but heck, we’re in the city, we only have 1,000 square feet. I think I can do this!

So what does this do for my husband and/or our marriage?

  • A crazy sleep-deprived me is not very much fun to be around. I want to get my act together so I can be a bit, well, ‘nicer’ to my husband.
  • My crazy clutteredness drives my poor husband up the wall. To read more about it, check out my post on the Pile of Doom.
  • Me being home from work today means I can get dinner started before he gets home. Let’s hope that goes swimmingly. I’ve done it before, I can do it again.

Wish me luck. I have about 7 hours to get the job done before he gets home.

#20: Put on a skimpy maid outfit and clean the house

23 Sep

Put on a skimpy maid outfit and clean the house.

Last night my husband and I got into a mini-argument over finances (namely how we were going to allocate certain funds to pay certain things.) Anyway, when he gets a little frustrated with me, it tends to all hang loose, and he got on my case about doing more chores around the house.

Now, this is confusing to me, because when things are happy, he always tells me he’s happy and thanks me for sharing duties with him.

Well, we made up last night, no problem, and he even apologized for being cranky. I apologized for just not letting it go and going round in circles.

But I still had a nagging feeling – Am I not doing enough around the house lately? Even though he’s happy now and wouldn’t say the same thing today, is there some truth to it?

Well let’s dig deeper:

  • I have a habit of doing many many loads of laundry at once, but then not folding them. They often stay in a basket, and then we can’t remember if the basket is clean or dirty, and I wash them again!
  • I could be (much) better about the kitty litter.
  • I could unpack our clothes from vacation.
  • I could tidy up my part of the bedroom closet a bit.

Okay, so there’s my answer. There IS stuff I can be doing.

So tonight, I’m going to leave work at 4:30, but instead of heading out to meet him after work and get the kiddo, I’ll take the train home and get started on some of these chores. And perhaps dinner.

Maybe he’ll notice, maybe he won’t, but hopefully next time we have an argument about something not related, he won’t feel the need to bring up me being messy!

Photobucket

(The Marriage Project so far)

I cooked my husband dinner!

8 Sep

I didn’t burn much anything last night, which was incredible!

Need to catch up? Here’s yesterday’s post: Cook my husband dinner

When I told my husband I was going to make us dinner last night, I could see him twitch a little and break out into a sweat, but I reassured him that it would be okay.

I realized we didn’t have much around the house, but we had chicken, artichokes, tomatoes, and pasta, so I threw the ingredients into Google to see what would pop out. I found a few recipes for, you guessed it, Pasta with artichokes, tomatoes, and chicken.

I didn’t really follow any of the  recipes.

My steps:

  • I cut the chicken breast into smallish pieces, put it in a pan with onions, garlic, and olive oil. I let that go.
  • In another pan, I sauteed onions, artichokes, and tomatoes with olive oil.
  • And lastly, I got the pasta going (and when it was done, you guessed it, tossed it on olive oil.)
  • I threw the pasta on a plate, put the sauteed veggies on top of that, and the chicken on top of that. Voila.

I was terrified, because I never ever ever ever cook, but the husband said it was my best meal ever. Success!

What was neat, though, is that I assumed he’d want a break from making dinner every night. It turns out it wasn’t so much a break from making dinner that he wanted, but a chance to feed our little guy his dinner! I usually feed him dinner while the hubby makes our dinner. It was very sweet that he got to spend more time with our little guy last night.

What a great night!

This morning, he told me he wasn’t sure what has been happening lately, but that he feels so great about our marriage, and feels like we’re in a really great place. Could all this be working??

(Does this type of post look new to you? As my blog has been evolving, I’ve added new categories, and today I decided that for some of my ‘projects’, the results will get a second post, as opposed to being added to the original post. Also, curious what my Marriage Project is all about?))

#10: Be nicely dressed and happy when he gets home from work

27 Aug

What is this, the 1950’s?

I’ll be getting home from work earlier than my husband is today.  In an effort to surprise him, I’m going to dress up a little and put on makeup for when he gets home.

Now, I’m dressed anyway in a suit and makeup for work, but since it’ll be in the mid-80’s today, I’d like to get home and get into a comfy dress and re-apply my makeup. I’ll greet him at the door with a big kiss! Considering on the days I get home before him I usually greet him in jeans and a nice top, this will be a nice surprise!

I’m also going to do those darn dishes.

Update:

Nothing went as planned on Friday. I got home early, put on a nice summer dress, did my makeup… then proceeded to put on some nice jazz and start washing the dishes. Just a few minutes into that, my husband called me and said he had just picked up or son from daycare and that he was sick. Another cold, I thought.

By the time he got home with our little man, our little guy was wheezing. Hard. Having a tough time breathing. The doctor was closed, so we made our way to a walk-in clinic, who of course, didn’t take children. By that time, he had a little fever, and by the time we got to the hospital, he had a nearly 104 fever.

Turns out he got a case of bronchiolitis, but some babies handle it worse than others, and our little guy was having trouble getting enough air. They got the fever down and gave him some albuterol treatments. A few hours after that, we were able to go home, with an inhaler for the little guy. It was a scary night, but they told us we did the right thing coming in.

Needless to say, we hardly slept all weekend, half worried about his breathing or potential lack-thereof as he slept, and half kept awake by him waking up all night long. This weekend my allergies decided to come on full strength as well, and I’ve been less than a peach to deal with. The good news? Our little guy is now just having regular cold symptoms and is breathing just fine, and he also started officially crawling this weekend.

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